It looks like Facebook isn't the only one planning a secret Instagram rival. Pool Party is Google's Android-based answer to Instagram and it's already in beta testing (accessible by invite only).
Pool Party was designed by Slide, a subsidiary of the big G, and is similar to Instagram in that they're both social photo-sharing apps, but that's where the similarities end. Whereas Instagram is meant primarily for individual expression (as evidenced by its hipster-ish filters), Pool Party is more about, well, the party.
The emphasis here is on group sharing, where individual users contribute photos into a group album—a pool if you will. In this respect, it's kind of like Color, except based on friend groups instead of location. This shouldn't come as a surprise considering how much emphasis Google+ places on its Circles group-sharing feature.
This kind of app would be great for group outings, parties, concerts... Basically anything that involves a bunch of people taking pictures of a related subject, really. As it stands however, I can't see this becoming much of a threat to Instagram. If only because it lacks those hipster filters I love so much! [Android Market via TechCrunch]
You can keep up with Michael Zhao, the author of this post, on Twitter.